Tag Archives: Leicester

Thank You to HRH Prince Harry & LASS Partner Organisations

HRH Prince Harry with Salma Ravat & Nadine Coogan (Photo: Tom Robson @tjrfoto)

Partner organisations joined LASS in a training session led by Juliet Kisob and Sadiya Mohamed.  They looked at the role of community HIV testing in encouraging people to know their HIV status and to help reduce late diagnosis.

CEO Jenny Hand introduces HRH Prince Harry to Sadiya Mohamed & Juliet Kisob. (Photo: Tom Robson @tjrfoto)

They were joined by HRH Prince Harry for workshops where they used a case study to look at how critical partnerships are to breaking down stigma and to identify new places for LASS to test in our 30th year. In Leicester 59% of patients are diagnosed late, which is 20% higher than the national average.

HRH Prince Harry unveils a unveiled a plaque marking the start of LASS’s 30th year. With Evernice Tirivanhu, Jenny Hand & David Rowlands (Photo/Animation: Tom Robson @tjrfoto)

Prince Harry unveiled a plaque marking his visit and 30 years of LASS. He invited trustee Evernice Tirivanhu to assist him She said: “It’s quite a special day for us.
“People living with HIV have to fight a lot of stigma, and to find that members of the royal family are willing to come and support the charity is very encouraging.”
Prince Harry’s visit came as the National AIDS Trust reported “an alarming trend for cutting or completely decommissioning HIV support services across England and Wales”.

LASS has been absolutely delighted to welcome partner organisations yesterday.  By working together we demonstrate unity within the voluntary sector and strengthen the approach of social care, support and advocacy across Leicester, Leicestershire, Rutland and the East Midlands.

You can find coverage of Prince Harry’s visit to LASS, and other Leicester Projects from the following news outlets.  Photographs from the training session are in the gallery below.

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Appointment of Chief Executive

LASS was recognised as one of the best health charities in the Country by the Kings Fund with GSK, gaining an Impact Award in 2013.  We are an independent, non-profit organisation providing information, advice, support and advocacy services for people who are living with or affected by HIV.  A large part of our work is also raising awareness about HIV, providing training, workshops, free confidential HIV testing in community settings. We work in partnership with other agencies to challenge stigma and discrimination.    The services we provide aim to improve people’s health and well-being, ultimately helping them to live life to its fullest and contribute to the prosperity of their communities.

LASS now seeks to appoint an exceptional Chief Executive to continue the successful delivery of our services whilst further developing the charity and its social enterprise ‘Well for Living’.  The Chief Executive will be expected to provide both strategic and operational leadership of both our charity and our social enterprise, working effectively with funders, local government and leading a passionate, dynamic team of staff and volunteers.

We are looking for a successful visionary leader who can combine excellent strategic and functional delivery with a natural ability to empathise and work directly with vulnerable adults.  With proven income generation and business development experience, your leadership will ensure LASS and Well for Living’s services are sustainable and of the highest quality, and your inspirational style and personal credibility will help to leverage our profile, networks and connections even further.

Critical to your success will be a genuine passion for equality and making a difference to the wider community as well as a commitment to developing a long standing charity which aims to be a leader in its field.

To learn more about this unique opportunity, download the Job Description with Person Specification and application form  and  return by post or email as specified on the application form.

  • Closing date for applications: 24th February 2017
  • Interviews and presentations:  First stage 9th or 10th March 2017.
  • Final stage: Saturday 18 March and Friday 24th March.

Healthcare Christmas Opening Times throughout Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland

christmas_opening_hours_top_banner_uk

At the time of year when the entire health system comes under increased pressure, people in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland are being reminded to choose the right health service if they or a member of their family begin to feel unwell this winter.

All GP practices across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland will be open until Friday 23rd December. Practices will re-open on the 28th December with normal service as well as 29th and 30th December, between Christmas and New Year. Practices will re- open again on Tuesday January 2, 2017. Where some practices in the city would normally close at lunch time on the Thursday before Christmas, in this case 22nd December, practices will be remaining open for the full duration of the day to provide more appointments to patients before Christmas.

In addition the following practices in the city will be opening on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve for their own patients only:

GP Practice Date Times
Parker Drive

Manor Medical Centre

Saturday 24 December

Saturday 31 December

8.00am – 1.00pm

8.00am – 1.00pm

Merridale Medical Centre Saturday 24 December

Saturday 31 December

8.30am – 12.30pm
The Practice, Beaumont Leys Saturday 24 December

Saturday 31 December

8.00am – 10.00am

Healthcare Hubs Over Christmas

Patients can get an appointment with a GP or an advanced nurse practitioner at one of the hubs everyday over the holiday period, including Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day.

Patients that are registered with any Leicester City GP practice can use the Westcotes hub from 8am to 8pm, seven days a week, or the Belgrave and Saffron hubs, which open weekdays 6.30pm to 10pm and on weekends and bank holidays 12 noon to 8pm.

Healthcare Hub Address
Westcotes Medical Practice Westcotes Health Centre,
Fosse Road South, Leicester, LE3 0LP.
Brandon Street Surgery Belgrave Health Centre,
52 Brandon Street, Leicester, LE4 6AW.
Saffron Surgery 612 Saffron Lane, Leicester, LE2 6TD.

Appointments can be made by calling 0116 366 0560 or NHS 111 from 8am to 10pm, 7 days a week. It is the same number for all the hubs, which are located in three areas of the city. More information on the hub opening times can be found here: https://www.leicestercityccg.nhs.uk/find-a-service/healthcare-hubs/.

The three CCGs across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland want to ensure that people who need healthcare over the Christmas and New Year holidays are able to find the right service for their needs.

Anyone who needs immediate medical attention should call NHS 111, unless it is a life threatening emergency. Trained call handlers will assess any symptoms and direct patients to the most appropriate source of care.

Patients can also visit walk-in and urgent care centres across the city and county which offer quick, professional healthcare and can treat minor burns, cuts and wounds, infections and rashes, as well as stomach ache, vomiting and diarrhoea.

Merlyn Vaz Walk in Centre
Spinney Hill Road
Leicester
LE5 3GH
Tel: 0116 242 9450
Open: Daily 8am – 8pm

Leicester Urgent Care Centre
Balmoral Building
Infirmary Close
Leicester
LE1 5WW
Tel: via the NHS 111 service
Open: 24 hours a day, every day

Urgent Care Centre Loughborough
Loughborough Hospital
Urgent Care Centre
Hospital Way
Loughborough
LE11 5JY
Tel: 01509 568800
Open: 24 hours a day, 365 days a year

Market Harborough District Hospital
58 Coventry Road
Market Harborough
LE16 9DD
Open Monday to Friday 8.30am to 9pm
Saturday and Sunday 9am to 7pm
Bank holidays 9am to 7pm

Melton Mowbray Hospital
Thorpe Road
Melton Mowbray, LE13 1SJ
Open Monday to Friday 5pm to 9pm
Saturday and Sunday 9am to 7pm
Bank holidays 9am to 7pm

Oadby Urgent Care Centre
18 The Parade
Oadby, LE2 5BJ
Open 8am to 9pm
Saturday and Sunday 8am to 8pm
Bank holidays 8am to 8pm 

Rutland Memorial Hospital
Cold Overton Road
Oakham
Rutland, LE15 6NT
Open Monday to Friday 8.30am to 9pm
Saturday and Sunday 9am to 7pm
Open bank holidays 9am to 7pm

Professor Azhar Farooqi, a GP and Chair of Leicester City Clinical Commissioning Group speaking on behalf of the three CCGs, said:  “There are many health services available across the city and county. If you feel unwell but not sure which health service to use, call NHS111 whose trained call handlers can give you the right advice.

“Don’t forget your local pharmacy if you have a minor illness over the holidays. They can provide health advice and over the counter medicines conveniently in everyone’s local community.

“It is also important to remember that if you are very poorly, particularly if you are older or have a long term health condition, not to delay seeking treatment or advice. Often at this time of year people don’t want to bother busy services, but we would rather you did seek help to avoid your condition becoming very serious and you need to be admitted to hospital.”

Details of local pharmacy opening times over the Christmas and New Year holidays are available at

https://www.leicestercityccg.nhs.uk/find-a-service/which-service-is-best/your-local-pharmacy/.

LASS SEASONAL OPENING TIMES

We are closed throughout Christmas and New Year.  Our office closes this Friday, (23rd December).  We re-open on Tuesday, 3rd January 2017

EMERGENCIES

There are a number of places that you can turn to for HIV/AIDS related help and advice.  The following web page lists services and support available for HIV, AIDS and sexual health in Leicester and Leicestershire  http://www.leicestersexualhealth.nhs.uk/getting-tested-and-clinics/clinics/

PEP (Post-Exposure Prophylaxis)

PEP is a course of HIV medication which you can take if you have been at risk of HIV infection. The course of HIV medication lasts 28 days and, if you start taking it within 72 hours of putting yourself at risk, it may be able to prevent you from becoming infected with HIV.  Further information on PEP can be found from the following link: http://www.aidsmap.com/Post-exposure-prophylaxis-PEP/page/1044883/

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It isn’t going away!!

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The story of how LASS has responded to the challenge of HIV and AIDS was featured at this year’s East Midlands Oral History Day at Nottingham Library.

Tim Burke, who helped run our 25th anniversary history project in 2014, spoke to the conference about how the project got off the ground and about the interviews with volunteers and staff past and present that resulted in our publication “…and it won’t go away”.

He also read some extracts from the book that showed how LASS volunteers over the years have supported people living with AIDS/HIV.

“There was a great deal of interest from conference participants and they snapped some of the few remaining copies of the book,” said Tim.

“It was something of honour to be asked to contribute to the conference and I hope it will have further raised awareness of the significance of LASS’s work since 1987.”

This year’s event had a theme of oral history and health and LASS’s project was featured alongside other oral history projects ranging from working at Boot’s the Chemist to the medicinal use of cannabis and people’s experiences of life in and out of mental hospitals.

For more, and for your own copy of “…and it won’t go away”. Read the following article:

“…and it won’t go away.” 25 Years of Leicestershire AIDS Support Services

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Roadworks affecting drivers to LASS.

roadworks easter 2016

Leicester is one of the oldest cities in England, with a history going back over 2,000 years.  Did you know the traffic one-way system remains unchanged to this day.  Many people find Leicester’s one-way system confusing and that’s especcilly the case when roadworks impact your journey.

Access to to LASS via car (from the City direction) are undergoing roadworks, here’s what you need to know..

As part of the Welford Road Footway and Cycleway Scheme, Leicester City Council will be undertaking the reconstruction of part of Mill Street.  They will also be working on the section of Welford Road between Marlborough Street & Regent Road.

The works will require a road closure of Mill Street at the junction with Welford Road.  The closure is in place from Today (29th March 2016) until Sunday, 10th April 2016.  During this period, traffic will be diverted via Marlborough Street, Duke Street and King Street.

It will also be necessary to suspend parking on Marlborough Street and along part of King Street to allow larger vehicles to use the diversion route. For more details please see the diversion plan (here) and follow the signs provided during the closure.

Between now and Sunday 17th April 2016, Welford Road will be operating with two traffic lanes. This applies to the section between Marlborough Street and Regent Road.

If you get stuck trying to get to us, please call us on 0116 2559995 and we’ll be happy to guide you.

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Leicester Healthcare Hubs & GP practices open over Easter weekend

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LASS will be closed over the Easter Break.  We re-open on Tuesday, 29th March.  More on our Easter opening times (and some free days out over Easter) by clicking here >>>

Many GP surgeries and health care centres are also closed over the break so here’s some details on the City healthcare hubs and a small selection of GP practices in Leicester City who are open to offer medical advice over the Easter weekend.

Patients that are registered with any Leicester City GP practice can use any of the four hubs between 6:30pm and 10:00pm Monday to Friday and 9:00am to 10:00pm this bank holiday.

They can get an appointment with a GP or an advanced nurse practitioner by calling 0116 366 0560 or NHS 111, or they can just walk in to any of four hubs. It is the same number to call for all four hubs.

The healthcare hubs are located in four areas of the city:

  • Willows Medical Centre
    184 Coleman Road
    Leicester, LE5 4LJ (Map)
  • Westcotes Medical Practice
    Westcotes Health Centre
    Fosse Road South
    Leicester, LE3 0LP (Map)
  • Brandon Street Surgery
    Belgrave Health Centre
    52 Brandon Street
    Leicester, LE4 6AW (Map)
  • Saffron Surgery
    612 Saffron Lane
    Leicester, LE2 6TD (Map)

Four GP practices in Leicester City will also remain open including the 8-8 SSAFA Walk in Centre..

FRIDAY 25 MARCH SATURDAY 26 MARCH MONDAY 28 MARCH
Dr Arolker & Partners, Manor Medical Centre, 577 Melton Road, Leicester LE4 8EA (NOT Parker Dr)  

Closed

 

Open

8am – 1pm

 

Closed

Dr Roy, Fosse Family Practice Closed Open

9am – 12 noon

Closed
The Practice – Beaumont Leys Closed Open

8am – 10am

Closed
SSAFA Care Health Centre, Merlyn Vaz, 1 Spinney Hill Road (also open on Sunday 27 March 8am – 8pm) Open 8am – 8pm Open 8am – 8pm Open 8am – 8pm

 

GPs from Leicester City Clinical Commissioning Group are urging people across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland to get prepared for the Easter bank holiday and also make sure they have sufficient stock of any prescription medicine they might need.

As the majority of GP surgeries will not be open from Good Friday (25 March) to bank holiday Monday (28 March), it is important that those who make use of repeat prescriptions check now to ensure that their supply will last until at least Tuesday 29 March.

Dr Tony Bentley GP and Clinical Lead for Leicester City CCG, said: “It is important that people check all their medications to make sure that they have a reasonable supply which will last over the bank holiday period. It is likely that Tuesday 29 March will be a busy day for GP surgeries following the holiday break, so I urge everyone to make sure that they have enough medication to last them until towards the end of the week.”

It is also recommended that people keep a well-stocked medicine cabinet so they can deal with any minor injuries and illnesses that occur in the holiday period, or to visit their local pharmacist for advice about the right treatment.

Dr Bentley continued: “Encouraging self-care is extremely important, as it allows people to take control of their own health and wellbeing. This includes taking responsibility for their medications, as well as treating their own minor illnesses using over the counter medicines when appropriate. I urge people to stay away from A&E, unless it really is a life-threatening accident or emergency. By choosing self-care or using one of the other services available, people will be able to get the right treatment at the right time and allow medical staff in A&E to concentrate on treating patients who are seriously ill or injured.”

Out of hours services will be available for those with an urgent need to see their GP as well as urgent care centres, which can treat minor burns, cuts and wounds, infections and rashes, as well as stomach ache, vomiting and diarrhoea, and health advice is also available by calling NHS 111, which is available 24 hours a day.

For further information on the services available in their local area we recommend visiting www.choosebetter.org.uk or www.nhs.uk/Service-Search/

Worried about Cancer / Kaposi’s Sarcoma?

Macmillian

The Macmillan mobile bus is in Leicester (Humberstone Gate) today.  It’s an information centre which visit communities, high streets and events to bring free support as well as confidential information to everyone.

Whether you’ve been affected by cancer, are visiting on behalf of a friend or relative or would just like to find out more about what Macmillan do, you’re welcome to visit them and you don’t need an appointment.

They are parked up in Humberstone Gate, Leicester until 5pm today, why not pop down and have a chat?  For more information on the mobile bus visit Macmillan here.

a HIV blog talking about Cancer – Why?

Kaposi’s sarcoma is a rare type of cancer caused by a virus. It can affect the skin and internal organs.

It’s mainly seen in people with a poorly controlled or severe HIVinfection. It can also affect some people who have a weakened immune system for another reason, as well as people who have a genetic vulnerability to the virus.

The following information is via
NHS Choices

Signs and symptoms

The most common initial symptom is the appearance of small, painless, flat and discoloured patches on the skin or inside the mouth. They’re usually red or purple and look similar to bruises.

Over time, the patches may grow into lumps known as nodules and may merge into each other.

Internal organs can also be affected, including the lymph nodes, lungs and the digestive system, which can cause symptoms such as:

The rate at which symptoms progress depends on the type of Kaposi’s sarcoma you have. Most types get worse quickly in a matter of weeks or months without treatment, but some progress very slowly over many years.

When to seek medical advice

You should see your GP if you have any worrying symptoms you think could be caused by Kaposi’s sarcoma. If you have HIV, you can also contact your local HIV clinic if you have any concerns.

Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and examine your skin to look for the characteristic discoloured patches. If they suspect Kaposi’s sarcoma, they will refer you for further tests to confirm the diagnosis.

These tests may include:

  • an HIV test – a blood test to confirm whether or not you have HIV (if you haven’t already been diagnosed with the condition)
  • a skin biopsy – where a small sample of cells is removed from an affected area of skin and checked for Kaposi’s sarcoma cells
  • an endoscopy – where a thin, flexible tube called an endoscope is passed down your throat to see if your lungs or digestive system are affected
  • computerised tomography (CT) scan to see if your lymph nodes or other parts of your body are affected

What causes Kaposi’s sarcoma?

Kaposi’s sarcoma is caused by a virus called the human herpesvirus 8 (HHV-8), also known as the Kaposi’s sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV). This virus is thought to be spread during sex, through saliva, or from a mother to her baby during birth.

HHV-8 is a relatively common virus and the vast majority of people who have it will not develop Kaposi’s sarcoma. It only seems to cause cancer in some people with a weakened immune system and in some people who have a genetic vulnerability to the virus.

A weakened immune system allows the HHV-8 virus to multiply to high levels in the blood, which increases the chance it will cause Kaposi’s sarcoma.

The virus appears to alter the genetic instructions that control cell growth. This means some cells reproduce uncontrollably and form lumps of tissue known as tumours.

Types of Kaposi’s sarcoma and their treatment

There are four main types of Kaposi’s sarcoma. These types affect different groups of people and are treated in different ways.

HIV-related Kaposi’s sarcoma

Although it’s not as common as it used to be, Kaposi’s sarcoma is still one of the main types of cancer to affect people with HIV.

HIV-related Kaposi’s sarcoma can progress very quickly if not treated. However, it can usually be controlled by taking HIV medication – known as combination antiretroviral therapy (cART) – to prevent HIV multiplying and allow the immune system to recover. The immune system can then reduce the levels of HHV-8 in the body.

Read more about treating HIV.

Some people may also require treatment with radiotherapy (where high-energy rays are used to destroy cancer cells) or chemotherapy(where powerful medications are used to destroy cancer cells), depending on the site and extent of the cancer and what symptoms it’s causing.

Classic Kaposi’s sarcoma

Classic Kaposi’s sarcoma mainly affects middle-aged and elderly men of Mediterranean or Ashkenazi Jewish descent. Ashkenazi Jews are descended from Jewish communities that lived in central and eastern Europe. Most Jewish people in the UK are Ashkenazi Jews.

It’s thought people who develop classic Kaposi’s sarcoma were born with a genetic vulnerability to the HHV-8 virus.

Unlike the other types of Kaposi’s sarcoma, the symptoms of classic Kaposi’s sarcoma progress very slowly over many years and are usually limited to the skin.

Immediate treatment isn’t usually required because, in many cases, the condition doesn’t affect life expectancy. You’ll usually be monitored carefully and only treated if the symptoms get significantly worse.

Radiotherapy is often used if treatment is required, although small skin patches or nodules may be removed using minor surgery or cryotherapy (freezing).

Transplant-related Kaposi’s sarcoma

Transplant-related Kaposi’s sarcoma is a rare complication of an organ transplant. It occurs because the immunosuppressant medication used to weaken the immune system and help prevent the body rejecting the new organ can allow a previous HHV-8 infection to reactivate, which means levels of the virus increase as it starts multiplying again.

Transplant-related Kaposi’s sarcoma can be aggressive and usually needs to be treated quickly. It’s normally treated by reducing or stopping the immunosuppressants, if this is possible. If this is unsuccessful, radiotherapy or chemotherapy may be used.

Endemic African Kaposi’s sarcoma

Endemic African Kaposi’s sarcoma is common in parts of Africa and is one of the most widespread types of cancer in that region.

Although this type of Kaposi’s sarcoma is classified separately from HIV-related Kaposi’s sarcoma, many cases may actually result from an undiagnosed HIV infection. All suspected cases therefore must have an HIV test, as the most effective treatment in these cases is HIV medication.

In cases not caused by HIV infection, this type of Kaposi’s sarcoma may be the result of a genetic vulnerability to HHV-8. These cases are usually treated with chemotherapy, although sometimes radiotherapy may be used.

Outlook

With proper treatment, Kaposi’s sarcoma can usually be controlled for many years. Deaths from the condition are uncommon in the UK.

The discoloured patches of skin will often shrink and fade with treatment, although they may not ever disappear completely.

A complete cure for any type of Kaposi’s sarcoma isn’t always possible, and there’s a chance the condition could recur in the future. If you think this is happening, contact your HIV clinic, hospital specialist or GP as soon as possible.

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